How One Sales Guy Used an Explainer Video to Land a Big Promotion (and a Raise!)
When was the last time you interviewed for a new role at work? No matter how confident you were about your skills, you probably felt a little nervous—maybe you wished you had a little something extra to wow the hiring managers and make your interview stick out from the countless others they sit through.
Several years ago, that’s the scenario Travis Giffin was in.
As a Solutions Consultant at Adobe, Travis worked with sales leadership and reps to develop an understanding of where client relationships stood. “We’re the face of the company when it comes to client engagement and selling products,” Travis explained.
He worked with Adobe’s big, enterprise accounts and Fortune 100 companies, looking for the best way to engage them, demo products, and close sales.
Adobe has a program for Principal Solutions Consultants—a competitive and prestigious role that offers additional leadership and advancement opportunities. It isn’t a program you automatically advance into. Candidates have to apply separately, get an endorsement from their managers, and impress a panel of VPs and executives.
After a little prodding from his manager, Travis decided to go for it. And as you’re about to read, he used an extremely creative method to go after the big new promotion.
A corporate explainer video.
Note: At Explainify, we create custom explainer videos that tie directly to your business goals. Book a free 30-minute call with us to see if we’re a good fit for your business.
Setting Yourself Apart in a Competitive Field
“When you go up for the Principal Sales Program, when you try to apply for that role… you’ve got to impress.”
At the time, there were about 1,500 Solutions Consultants across Adobe’s entire global team. Of those, less than 10% are accepted into the Principal Solutions Consultant program. To be selected, the hiring managers expect creativity from this class of candidates—so how do you stand out and make your case?
As part of the interview process, candidates showcase a project they’ve worked on in their role as Solutions Consultants. Travis chose to highlight a recent project with AT&T, and he saw the presentation as his chance to make a big splash.
He wanted to go beyond a run-of-the-mill PowerPoint and tell the story of his big project in a different way. That’s when he thought of a corporate explainer video.
After tinkering with a homemade video of his own, Travis quickly realized something: he isn’t a video pro.
He didn’t have the know-how or experience to put together the kind of high-quality and professional video that would make an impact in the boardroom. “If you’re not doing it every day,” he said, “it’s really hard to be a creator.”
So he decided to look for professional help and found the Explainify team.
Bringing an Idea to Life
The process took about a month, Travis told us, from when he first emailed the team to when the final product was presentation-ready. And he worked with the team and shared his feedback every step of the way.
To start, Travis talked through his vision for the video. Would it be a sweeping historical look back on his career or focus on one big win? Who was the audience it needed to win over? Were their time constraints to consider?
After that, the team came back to Travis with a script, and he signed off on it.
The voiceovers came next. “They had somebody talk through that script, and then I got to pick who the voice was,” Travis explained. “I picked one of them that I thought was more indicative of the script.”
From there, the team dove into the animation. When they brought the video back to Travis for feedback, it was his vision come fully to life. “It was amazing,” he said. “I couldn’t have done anything like that.”
The End Result
You can probably guess we’re telling this story because Travis got the job—including the raise that went with it. More than that, he found a way to stand out from a class of highly talented and creative candidates.
When Travis walked into the conference room and played his video, the room full of Adobe VPs and executives were impressed, to say the least.
“We got a standing ovation practically. They started sending it around to people immediately. It was very cool.”
Travis finished his presentation (another hour after showing the video) but the video remained the topic of conversation as everyone left the room. It made dinner conversations that night and made the email rounds at Adobe for another week after the presentation.
Why It Worked
Travis’ video helped him win the promotion for a few reasons. Using a professionally animated video in his presentation was a novel idea, but that isn’t why it helped set Travis apart from the crowd. “My career got me the promotion,” he clarified. “But doing the video—that was the cherry on top.”
The video showcased how Travis would apply his creativity to the role and responsibilities of a Principal Solutions Consultant. It wasn’t just flashy or neat. It highlighted his real business results on the job and spoke the language of the executives he presented to.
“When we can put ROI numbers around it and time estimates to help with management… all those have impact,” Travis noted.
By using something like video in an unexpected setting and an unconventional way, Travis went beyond talking about his aptitude—he demonstrated it. In doing so, he exhibited how he’d apply that creativity and problem-solving in client relationships, too.
“It was creative – and that’s what Adobe is. They’re all about the experience… about driving customer experiences through creativity. And that’s why an explainer video was perfect.”
Note: Want prospects to talk about you for days the way everyone at Adobe was talking about Travis and his video? Book a free 30-minute call with us to see if we’re a good fit for your business.
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